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Paxil - I'm So Scared
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aimee0308 posted:
I am posting this in both the anxiety and the depression sections of this message board in order to get opinions from as many people as possilble. I struggle with both, but the anxiety seems to be the more overwhelming of the 2 because it is so terrifying and leaves me feeling so out of control. Thank you so much for reading this.

My psychiatrist prescribed Paxil to me, but I still haven't gotten myself to take it. I've spent the last 2 nights staring at the bottle, reading over the side affects and wondering if I can handle the possibility of increased anxiety, nervousness, dizziness, asthenia, and tremor. Those are my greatest worries because I already experience all of them. Especially because anxiety is on the top of the list for most common side affects! My anxiety level has been SO high this week all day long that I can barely handle it. I'm not kidding, it is so BAD. I wanted to wait for a few days and see if it starts to go down a bit, but so far it hasn't. It has stayed consitently high every second of every day since Monday. I can't handle another day. I feel like I am going crazy and I would rather die than go through these terrible feelings of panic that will not let up even for a second to let me catch my breath!

I feel as though the Paxil can either make me or break me. And I am scared to find out which one it will do to me. I KNOW I can't handle anything more right now! I am supposed to take it at night and if I wake up feeling worse panic, I am going to freak out, especially because I know I will be exhausted out of my mind and I always get scared when I have that really sleepy, dizzy, and disoriented feeling. I don't know what I would do! Honestly, I would probably end up having to go to the hospital. And that would really make my life so much worse! I feel like I am getting worse ever day... and darker every day... because every day I feel this way I feel like I am losing my grip more and more on surviving through this. If I could just feel calm and at peace and my anxiety/panic could go away, I know I would be ok, but that isn't the case.

I am really not sure what I should do. Should I just go ahead and take it even if I know that the panic I am already experiencing will no doubt get worse from my own anxiety and may possibly get worse because of the medicine???? Or should I hold off for a few more days in hopes that my anxiety/panic level will go down at least a little bit to where I feel more comfortable taking it? But what if I can't make it through to wait until I am feeling less anxious? And if I do take it, what if I don't make it through if I get an increase in panic???? I feel like no matter what I decide to do, I am doomed unless I don't experience any side affects! But it is way more likely to experience an increase in anxiety/panic than it isn't when I begin taking this, right? And it is way more common to experience an increase in anxiety/panic from the medicine if you already suffer so much from this problem like I do??? Last night and the night before I almost had a serious panic attack just thinking of taking it.

I am crying and shaking because I am so scared. Scared because I am afraid of taking it and getting worse, and scared because I am afraid that I won't make it through if I don't take something to help me and I continue feeling this way.

Because I am struggling so much with this, do you think there is another anti-anxiety/depressant that might be better for me? I know they all have side affects, but are there any out there that aren't as likely to cause more anxiety/panic like Paxil can? Anxiety is on the top of the list for side affects. Does this mean it happens most of the time???

Thank you so much to anyone and everyone who replies.
Reply
 
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77elizabeth responded:
Hi Amiee

I took Paxil several years ago. My only problem was weening off of it. It took me awhile to get off completely. I did not have any other side effects when I was on it. It helped me to survive is all I can say. You can call your doctor and ask why he chose Paxil. He must have a good reason why he believes it will help you. Don't forget all antidepressents have some side effects of one kind or another. It is very good to be informed of the side effects. On the other hand reading all of that can but you in a tissy and really make you anxious. Don't be scared. The medication will help you. You must think positive. I know that is hard to do at this state but give it a shot.

Best of luck
 
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sophiespike responded:
Hi Aimee, I agree with Elizabeth: don't be scared because the dr. gave you the Paxil to help you, thinking it was the best med for what you are going through, best as she said, call and ask about his reasoning. That may reassure you. I took Paxil a few years ago as well, but did not have any difficulty weaning off it; in fact, I never felt better in my life! I took it for anxiety/depression/severe PMS symptoms that were interfering with my life. I actually don't recall having any side effects except maybe thirstiness, but again, as Elizabeth said, all antidepressants can have some side effects that are different on different people. One suggestion: if you are really too scared to take the med, and you are by yourself, is there a friend you can call to spend one or two nights on the sofa so you do not have to wake up alone in an empty house? I'll bet just just that little bit of reassurance will give you the courage you need to start taking the medication, and you will start feeling better. Please post back and let us know how it goes.

Best wishes, good thoughts, and Guardian Angels are being sent your way. Sandy
 
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aimee0308 responded:
Well, I finally took it. Wow... and I didn't think things could get much worse then they already were. I slept terribly and woke up in the middle of the night 3 times shaking uncontrollably. I had a nightmere of someone trying to kill me which I haven't had in quite some time. I am going to make this message short because I am barely able to be on here typing my anxiety/panic is so terrible. I feel really dizzy and when I stand up I feel like my legs are going to fall out from underneath me. I was supposed to meet my boyfriend at church this morning, but I don't trust myself to drive. My dark feelings of wanting to end my life have increased because I just want out of this so bad that I can't take it anymore. I would do anything for relief.

I'm not going to be able to wait this med out. I wouldn't be quitting on it unless it was really unbearable. There is no way I could ever take another night of this. Right now I feel so sick that I could throw up. I feel very faint. I don't think it would be wise for me to try to continue on like this even if it only lasts for a week before things start getting better. I don't have the strength to wait it out. I wish I did, but I just don't.
 
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sophiespike responded:
Hi Aimee, I am so sorry you had such a bad reaction to the Paxil. You need to call your MD right away, if you haven't already and tell him/her what happened. And please try to get someone to stay with you for a couple of days; you should not be alone while you're feeling so bad. The company may help calm you down just a little. If you can't get your MD on the phone, please go to the ER, or call 911. There is no need for you to go through this torture by yourself. There are good people who are ready and able to help. Please post again when you are up to it and let us know how you're doing. Blessings and Prayers and good thoughts and Angels are being sent your way. Sandy
 
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aimee0308 responded:
Thank you everyone so very much for all of your support.

Saturday night when I took Paxil it was only 1ML. I don't know why I said 2MG before. Sorry about that. I am taking the liquid version so I don't have to chop any pills up into tiny pieces to get such a low dosage. She wanted to start me out really low because I was affected by only 5MG of Celexa before I stopped taking it because it was increasing my anxiety.

I didn't take the Paxil last night because I just couldn't handle it. Yesterday I went over to my boyfriend's house and although we weren't able to go to church, we went to the beach and watched the sunset that night and it really helped me a lot. For some reason every time I go to the beach I feel a bit better. It is very relaxing there, especially in the evening when there aren't very many people around and we are just walking down the beach alone listening to the waves crash onto the shore. Before the sun set I was also pretty caught up in finding shells so I wasn't able to pay as close attention to my anxiety. So, that is a good thing. And the fact that we are blessed to live so close to a relaxing place like that is a nice thing to have.

See, right now I don't have a job and I just gradauated from college in January. So I am at home in my room most of the time with not much to do and I just end up focusing too much on my problems and the fact that I just keep getting sick and nothing is helping me get better. I have had so many health problems happen in such a short amount of time that I keep feeling deep down like "what is going to happen next?" It is very scary. And I feel like I can't do much of anything right now because I am not well. I am afraid that I will be dizzy when I go out because I am light headed all the time, and I am afraid that I will have a panic attack like I did when I had to go into jury duty last week (even though I was eventually able to tell the jude that I was sick and couldn't be there). I am SOOOO afraid all the time! And I know it doesn't help being in my room all day with nothing really to do, but I feel like I can't do anything right now. I feel so trapped.

Anyway, I need to get to the point now of why I am typing this reply. I talked to my psychiatrist briefly tonight about what was going on. I told her what happened the night I took the Paxil and I asked her if maybe I could take something like Xanax to get me through the first couple of weeks until the Paxil has time to set in and start working properly. She said that would be ok and is calling in a prescription for me. I asked her if she thought Xanax would be good for me and she said it would be ok, but that it can be sedative. And that is all she said. She is putting me on a low dose (I think half a pill).

I have a few questions:

1) Is it completely safe to be taking both Paxil and Xanax at the same time?

2) Should I make sure I go off of Xanax as soon as the Paxil has time to work so as to make sure I do not get addicted to the Xanax?

3) How common is it to experience the side effect of dizziness with Xanax?

4) How sedative is it? If I am taking half a pill, am I going to feel exhausted out my mind?

Thank you!!
 
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Norm84 responded:
All I can say is do what the Dr's say, but watch yourself. I did not do well on Paxil. In fact it made my depression much worse. I did end up seeing another Dr. and was placed on Anafranil and klonopin for the anxiety. Klonopin has been great for the anxiety and I'm currently off all anti-depressants. It's not easy. I had an incident happen to my eye that has cause burning, itching, redness, that accompanied with my father's cancer, 2 girls from Central America we were trying to adopt gone bad, moving into a new home, changing my work place. It was all too much and I broke. I think it was part depression and part a breakdown. I was suicidal and some days are better then others. I never used to avoid people, know I find myself doing that whenever I can. I hope someday I can get close to how I used to be. I hurts and I pray you have support. It means a lot. I don't think I would be here without my wife. Best of luck to you.
 
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sophiespike responded:
Hi Aimee,

I am so glad to see another post from you, and that you seem to be feeling a little better.

As to you first questions, yes, it's safe to take Paxil and Xanax together, especially in low doses, or your Dr. would not have prescribed it. Please be sure to follow her instructions and don't take any more (or less) than she advises without first checking with her. If you are hypersensitive to medication, she will need to help you wean off the Xanax when you both feel the time is right, so don't worry about becoming addicted to the Xanax.

I had no side effects from Paxil, no drowsiness, I felt great, in fact, I had no PMS at all, and I used to become the Wicked Witch of the West at that time of the month before I started on Paxil. If the combination of the two drugs makes you sleepy, ask the Dr. if you can perhaps space out the Xanax doses more or take a different anti-anxiety drug such as Ativan. Everyone reacts differently, as you know, so go into this with an open mind and don't expect to feel sleepy, think positively!.

Have you tried or thought about seeing a psychologist for the anxiety and panic attacks along with the medication? Maybe a therapist can help you find out why you are having them so you can get on with your life. He/she can give you coping techniques to help deal with the anxiety and you can look for a job in your chosen field (by the way, Congratulations on your College Graduation..what did you get a degree in?). And of course, you can enjoy those walks on the beach with your boyfriend more frequently. He sounds like a truly understanding person and someone who really cares. You must be very lucky to have him, and he to have you.

Anyway, I hope this answers some of your ?s. Please post again and let us know how you're doing. We are here for and to help each other.

Blessings to you, Sandy
 
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aimee0308 responded:
Oh my gosh... I took the Xanax last night and it was a complete nightmere!!!! (I didn't take the Paxil because I wanted to try just the Xanax first) What in the world is wrong with me?! I can't even take half a pill of Xanax without being scared out of my mind!!!! I know at first it was mostly my stupid anxiety that messed me up because it immediately got SO much worse as soon as I took the pill no matter how hard I tried to control it. I was shaking uncontrollably, my heart was pounding, my arms started getting tingly and I felt like I wanted to die! *cries* I am SO sick of this!!! Then I couldn't sleep last night!! I maybe fell asleep after hours and hours of being awake for just a few minutes and the rest of the time I was awake the whole night!!! I was finally able to get a few hours of sleep when the sun came out in the morning. It didn't help with my panic at all. It was almost like I could feel it BARELY trying to help by covering up the panic, but it came nowhere even CLOSE to defeating it. My panic won by a long shot!!! Even when I tried my very very hardest to calm down and think of other things... it just didn't work at all. I was fighting severe panic all night long while being completely and totally exhausted!!! It wsa SO terrible!!!

Why did this happen to me?! I don't understand what is wrong. I thought Xanax was the one thing that could give me relief from my anxiety and instead it made everything worse because I couldn't sleep! I was exhausted, but I couldn't sleep! Wow... this is really getting bad... I don't know what to do now. Please someone help... Why did the Xanax not work for me and why did it keep me up all night??? I just don't understand... I just got the pills last night and I really would like to use them instead of letting them go to waste, but now I am terrified to try again and concerned that the only thing it will do is make me sleepier (which scares me because I get disoriented) and it doesn't control my panic. I read so many good things about it helping so many people. Well, why didn't it help me??? It was only half of a 0.25mg pill, by the way. Do you think the dose could have been too low to really help me or what?

I don't think I can take anything new at night anymore until I am very very comfortable with it. My boyfriend wonders if I can handle taking anything new at all because my panic has gotten worse ever since I started thinking of taking new medications for my anxiety and depression because I get SOOO terrified. And I don't even know why I get like that... All I know is that I can't control it!!! It drives me nuts. But my anxiety does seem to increase when it gets dark outside and when I lay down in bed for the night. I can be on my laptop in bed and not feel it so much, but as soon as I try to go to sleep in my bed I get an increase in my anxiety. I think it has to do with having so many bad panic experiences at night and in my bed. You should know that the first time I had a panic attack was when I was sick and took Nyquil before going to sleep last night. I was asleep for about 3 hours then woke up feeling unbelievably panicked!! I was shaking and I felt like I couldn't breathe good... I was extreemly dizzy and disoriented and barely making it through... I thought I was going to have to go to the hospital and I felt like I was dying! It was the worst thing ever... little did I know that there was much more of that to come... and now I deal with it ALL the time. Wow... That was before I even knew what a panic attack was. I do know that it was caused by the Nyquil and I will never take that stuff agai. So, after that expierence, it doesn't go so well when I try to take a new medication then try to go to sleep. It is hard for me to get that expierence out of my head.
 
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aimee0308 responded:
So, I'm starting to think it might be better for me to take new things during the day even though it will probably still make me very panicy and no doubt it will make me very sleepy. I just don't know what else to do. I just can't handle it at night when I am already so exhausted and wanting so desperately to sleep soundly and I am laready feeling very anxious as it is.

So here is a conclusion of all of my questions to make this a bit more simple to reply to:

1) Why didn't the Xanax get rid of my panic?

2) Why did the Xanax keep me awake all night?

3) Do you think half of a 0.25mg pill is too small of an amount to work the way I need it to?

4) Do you think it would be best for me personally to take new medications during the day?

5) Should I give both Xanax and Paxil another go or give up on them both because I obviously am going to be terrified out of my mind before taking either of them?

AHHHH!!! Thank you everyone so much. I hate this so bad. I don't know why I get like this, but I try to control it and it just doesn't work. Please help! I don't know what to do now...
 
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glennda responded:
Lots of people take paxil, many people take xanax, you can take each at a different time of the day if that would make you feel better. The xanax should not keep you awake. If you are this upset, perhaps you would benefit from being in the hospital to have your meds adjusted. If your Doctor prescribed the medication, then you can take it. Also you can ask him about the xanax, be sure to tell him just how upset you are feeling. Good luck.
 
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glennda responded:
I think your panic is the problem here, the meds are maybe too mild to control the panic. The xanax would be the most helpful for the panic episodes, and the paxil would be helpful in keeping the attacks from occurring. The best thing would be to get in touch with your doctor, and/or go to the hospital.
 
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Hmama25 responded:
please please do not take paxil i have been on 10mg of paxil 7 months and it has made my symptoms a million times worse i have irritability, aggression, thoughts of suicide, my heart beats out of rythm. i decided to just stop taking it and the withdrawl sypmtoms are awful. i do not know what to do my familydr reccomended me to go to hospital that has a pysch ward for intake evaluation to get treated for 3 days and change my medicine. no help there they just wanted to increase my paxil dose when the paxil is the initial problem. iam lost, sick and do not know what to do i am suffering thanks to paxil i was better off not taking it in the first place. so please i advise you do not put yourself through this its not worth it. i hope this helps you


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